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Catharus thrush (northern Virginia, May 15, 2023) (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi, I took picture of this Catharus thrush in northern Virginia today.

I suppose it is a Swainson's which is pretty much expected during migration at this location. But I don't see the "buffy eye-ring"; in fact, I always had trouble to discern that in a Swainson's Thrush. But the strong eye-ring and overall coloration rule out the other candidates (Hermit, Veery or Gray-cheeked; it certainly is not a Wood Thrush).



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The light here looks overcast or shadowed, colors are dimmer than they should be, with a slight greenish tinge from foliage. The eye-ring in the photo looks a dingy pale grey on my monitor. (I suppose I've seen buff leather close to that color, but not when it was in good condition. The color term "light brownish-yellow" (by 1788) comes via the hue of buff leather --- the Online Etymology Dictionary) I think it's a reasonable conclusion that this is a Swainson's with the buffiness not showing up in the photo. It's certainly not a hermit, and I agree grey-cheeked is very unlikely with such a big, clear eye-ring.
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Looks like a Swainson's Thrush to me. I am confused about your saying you do not see a buffy eye-ring. Would you call it some other color?
Thanks. According to Buff (colour) - Wikipedia, buff means " light brownish yellow, ochreous colour"; I always thought it to be reddish brown (which is consistent with the definition). In this picture, I only see a gray bird with a whitish eye-ring.
Perhaps my monitor is displaying a browner overall tone than yours. "Light brownish yellow, ochreous colour" describes rather well what I see.
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